LSU vs Alabama 2015: Storylines for a classic in the making

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Oct 24, 2015; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Brandon Harris (6) leaves the field following a win against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in a game at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Western Kentucky 48-21. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Surging Brandon Harris

In recent weeks, sophomore quarterback Brandon Harris has proven to LSU fans, and the nation as a whole, that he can be more than just a game manager who hands the ball off to Heisman hopeful Leonard Fournette.

Harris is a legitimate passing threat, and he has crept into the upper echelon of SEC quarterbacks by throwing for nine touchdowns with no interceptions in 2015.

During the first few weeks of the season, Fournette was all the offense that the Tigers needed, rushing for 200 yards a game seemingly every week. All Harris had to do was not turn the ball over, and provide an occasional clutch play on third down to compliment a lethal rushing attack.

Now, thanks to Harris’ emergence as a serious dual-threat under center, the LSU offense is much more balanced. As a result, the Tigers now boast the multidimensional offensive attack that they need to contend for a national title.

During the past three games against South Carolina, Florida and Western Kentucky, Harris has come into his own. He has thrown for 200 yards in each game, after not surpassing the 200-yard mark once during his first five starts for the Bayou Bengals. In addition, he has thrown seven of his nine touchdown passes this season during this span, completing 63 percent of his passes.

With opposing defenses keying in on Fournette and the running game, LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has frequently dialed up passing plays for Harris, and it has paid off. This recent surge in play at the quarterback position could not have come at a better time, either.

Alabama may rank 38th in the nation in passing yard allowed per game, but this is not a true indicator of how well the Crimson Tide have defended the pass this season. They have the seventh-best team passing efficiency defense in the country, and will pose a major threat to Harris and the LSU offense.

Next: College Football Playoff Implications